We head down into the maintenance tunnels, following the stripe for the central control hub. Half an hour in, we feel the floor fall out from under us, by several feet. We pick up our pace, and 10 minutes after the quake, we begin to hear a regular thwomp thwomp sound, and we’re getting closer to it by walking/jogging towards the central control hub.
We start seeing damage to the walls and dead bodies, most of whom seem to have been smushed. The first person we find like this died about 1.5-2 days ago, and they were part of the conjuration clique. We begin to stealth our way down when we notice the bodies and the large footprints in the rubble. The tunnel starts to widen and get taller as the stripe on the wall grows thicker, and the bodies and scorch marks grow more common.
An hour into our jog, we hear footsteps behind us, and Mercury reveals herself sheepishly. She wants the Godkiller Kit. The party questions her motives, given that she sought out Keanvari last night, and she claims that she wants to protect us from the harm that would come to us if people wanted the kit badly enough to kill for it. She says that Keanvari does know we have it. In the end we decide not to give her the kit, and Mercury leaves, unhappy.
We continue on, reaching a hallway that curves around a circular room – the control hub. Peeking in past the stone doors, we see a large dome of a room with huge orbs floating by the ceiling. The largest orb is hovering several feet above what would be the center of the floor, if the floor were not a crevasse with lava at the bottom. (It would seem that feeding the core raw magic did not end all that well.) The orb in the center of the room is providing energy to the orbs on the ceiling. Also there’s a 20 foot tall and 20 foot wide stone golem patrolling the room.
Kaiva sets up a tripwire at stone golem ankle-height using the Friendship Rope. Remi and Kaiva approach the golem while everyone else hides behind a stone door, and Remi manages to convince the golem we are here to help restore power to the core to save Gathering from falling. He allows them to try, but he watches them very closely. Looking around the room, there seems to be a power socket just on the edge of the central orb that could be reached without having a hand chopped off by the rotating circular blades of the core.
After some consultation with the rest of the party, it’s decided that the best course of action is to have the golem lift Remi up to the power socket so he can insert the battery into the power socket on the core. Remi does so, carefully removing the Pokeball protective covers so the magical energy in the Orb of Annihilation can be absorbed into the core.
For a few moments, the core stops, and the whole of Gathering drops by about 15 feet. Then the core starts up again, and Kean says that maybe it would be good to get away from the core now that it’s recalibrating? So we make a run for the door, then Kean, when he says he’s readying a teleportation spell. The golem decides he doesn’t like taking falling or lightning damage in our presence, so he attacks us. The core turns everyone invisible except Andra and Fen (who are outside the room in that moment), which delays Kean’s casting of teleportation until we are all visible again. Just before Kean can finally cast teleport, the core sends out another blast of energy, and everything goes white.
When our senses return, we’re standing in the teleportation center of Floy, and a woman herding cows says, “So you’re the Banishers?”